Sunday, May 27, 2018

Pere Marquette State Park KFF-1015

I decided that sometime during the Memorial Day holiday weekend I would go north about an hour from home to activate the Pere Marquette State Park. I did my usual scouting via Google Earth and picked a spot on top of the bluff and about as high as you can get in that park. The low end of the park is at the Mississippi River level which is around 400 feet with my operating location at around 850 feet. I headed up on Sunday afternoon with thunderstorms being way to the south of St. Louis which I figured would be OK. We also set a record high temperature of 96 degrees. I should have known there would be weather problems but I went anyway.

I started on 20 meters so the static crashes would not be as bad. 20 must have been very long because I self spotted, called CQ for 30 minutes and could only get 3 California stations. After that I switched to 40 meters and the static crashes were horrific. I managed to grab 27 more contacts before the clouds started to darken and weather alerts were going nuts on my phone. I was planning a nice long activation and I probably could have taken an hour break and checked conditions again but I decided to head back home. Still a good day hamming!

I did have a park to park contact with Kent K7CAR. He was at KFF-4428 in AZ.

I will get back to this park again maybe in the fall.

Next day revelation: I now realize that I had my noise blanker turned off. I always have to run it while the engine is running. The static crashes were still worse than the engine noise so it probably didn't matter.

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